This is, quite possibly, our favorite season. Hands down. What’s not to love? Football season is in full swing, the fashionistas are wearing knee-high boots, and the farmer’s market is stocked with gourds. (Where do all these gourds hang out the rest of the year?)

This fall, we’re changing up the usual Halloween countdown routine with a grown-ups-only pumpkin carving party. We’re talking competition-level carving, accompanied by hearty chili and some good ol’ Bandit Merlot. Book the babysitter, because this party requires both of you. One to carve and scoop the seeds, one to shout encouragement and pour the wine.

There’s something fun—in an old-school, disconnected-wifi kind of way—about working on a task that requires everyone to get their hands dirty, and then sitting back and admiring your work, preferably around a fire pit on a crisp night. While the candles still illuminate each semi-pro masterpiece, choose a winner and make the trophy a box of Bandit.

Turns out, there’s more to Halloween than costumes and candy.

The Bandit Crew